April 29, 2020 - 10:27am

Swedish Professor Johan Giesecke has given a follow-up interview to the main Swedish broadsheet, Svenska Dagbladet, in which he responds to Professor Neil Ferguson’s interview on UnHerd: “I know [Ferguson] a little and he is normally quite arrogant, but I have never seen him as tense and nervous as during that interview,” he said.

Giesecke stands by his fundamentally different assessment of the threat of the Covid-19 threat:

Ferguson modified quite a few of the straightforward statements [from his report], but still seems to think that the lethality is somewhere at just under one percent, while I think it is actually much lower, perhaps as low as 0.1%.
- Johan Giesecke

He flatly rejects Professor Ferguson’s prediction that deaths in Sweden will continue to rise.

No, on the contrary, I think the number will go down — although it may tick up slightly when we get an outbreak in West Götaland or Skåne [provinces of Sweden that have so far been less badly affected].
- Johan Giesecke

Challenged on the apparent success of New Zealand in eliminating the virus completely, with a highly interventionist approach, Professor Giesecke asked whether that will really look like success in the long term:

Yes, it seems they have [suppressed the virus completely]. But what are they going to do now? To keep the country virus free, they will have to keep their borders closed. Everyone travelling in must be quarantined for 14 days before being admitted to the country, and if no good vaccine arrives, New Zealand will have to keep that quarantine for a long time. A very long time…
- Johan Giesecke


Freddie Sayers is the Editor-in-Chief & CEO of UnHerd. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, and founder of PoliticsHome.